NB You can see a complete list of my previous recommendations of new Windows 8 apps for teachers and students on the Windows 8 Education Apps page, that I published on this blog earlier, and which I update regularly. And all of the apps I've highlighted so far are free.
Windows 8 Education apps I noticed this week
Windows Store link for NASA's Be A Martian
As the team at NASA say "Space exploration is no longer limited to the intrepid few, but is open to us all as members of a spacefaring society. Be part of exploration and discovery in these times, and personally contribute to the expansion of human knowledge for all of us now, and as a legacy for those who follow."
The app offers students ways to take part in discovery and learn about NASA's Mars missions, and view Mars images and videos, and read the mission news. The app delivers the latest mission images and updates from Curiosity, allows students to ask NASA questions about Mars, and find out more about the people behind the mission.
My Study Life
Windows Store link for My Study Life
My Study Life is a planner for students, teachers and lecturers. It is a combination of the Windows 8 app and the My Study Life website. It's designed to make life easier by storing classes, tasks (assignments, homework, revision) and exams in the cloud, making study connected activities available online and offline (through the website online and the Windows 8 app). Having spent a little bit of time with it, it seems an incredibly powerful app, with some smart features. For example, two-week timetables can be tricky to setup in some software or conventional calendar software, but is a doddle in this. And, because it uses the Windows 8 live tiles, it means that students will see upcoming activities and assignments on their Windows 8 Start screen.
The list of features highlighted by the developers include:
Given the scope and professionalism of this app, I can't believe this will stay as a free app for long!
Windows 8 ebook Readers
Over the next couple of weeks I'm planning to spend a bit of time looking into the ebook software for Windows 8, and highlight those that have features that are especially useful for etextbooks, as opposed to just normal book reading. But until I've completed that, here's a couple of ebook readers for Windows 8 that I think are useful:
Windows Store link for Book Reader
This is a reader for ePub files (one of the number of different ebook formats) that will read books that are not DRM protected. What that means is that you can't use it to read digitally protected books, such as the ones you can buy from iTunes and Kindle. However, what this will allow you to do is to download free ePub format books from places like Project Gutenberg (which offers 40,000 free ebooks) and epubBooks.com.
Windows Store link for Kindle Reader
The Kindle app allows you to read your Kindle library on your Windows 8 slate or laptop. And because it uses the Kindle sync service, your library is automatically synced to your device, and you it automatically knows which book you're currently reading, and which page you last got to. So it means you can read on one device, and pick up where you left off on your next one. I love this, as I have one of the old Kindle eReaders too, so I can read the same book on the train on my Windows 8 slate, and on the sofa at home with my Kindle. The first time I loaded it, I was amazed at just how many ebooks I'd bought, when it showed my whole library on the screen, which went on for pages and pages. (For the eagle eyed, yes I share my Kindle with my daughter)